Cricket craze

Published On: April 21, 2017 12:25 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

No matter where you go these days it is hard to escape the never-ending conversations on cricket. Cricket is all too pervasive in our lives and more so now since it’s been a little more than two weeks into the 47 days long Indian Premier League. 22 matches have been played already and with more lined up it will still rule fan’s lives for a while. As a Twenty20 cricket match, it doesn’t take an entire day to finish and this is probably the reason why more than a billion people around the world watch it. We at The Week found out what’s going on in the cricket world and how cricket lovers are keeping up with matches that happen every day.  

Kolkata Knight Riders, popularly known as Shah Rukh Khan’s team, are on top of the point table so far. They are ahead of Mumbai Indians because of their net run rate at their point. Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, seems to be the favorite to win, based on their squad strength.

The big change
This year there are eight teams battling it out for the cup, and this also includes two temporary teams. Gujrat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants were formed after two popular teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals – were banned from playing the league by the Supreme Court. The teams were found guilty on illegal betting and match fixing and many fans are disappointed. 

Understanding the game
Do your friends talk about cricket nonstop during the IPL season and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to understand or keep up? The basics of cricket are actually not that hard to grasp. A cricket team has 11 players and one team fields whereas the other bats. A coin toss decides which team gets to bat first. All the members of the fielding team are on the ground whereas only two people from the batting team are in the ground. 

There are two ways to make runs in this game, one is by running and the other one is by hitting the ball out of boundary lines. When a batsman hits the ball and it sails over the boundary line, it adds six runs to their team. If the ball rolls across the field and even just touches the line, four runs are added to the team’s score sheet. There are two things that the fielding team tries to do in the game - try to restrict the number of runs made by the team while trying to oust the entire team by taking wickets. 

As long as you know these basics, you will be able to enjoy the game with your friends. There are, of course, other details of the game that you will slowly learn as cricket catches your interest. 

Keeping up with IPL
With a growing fan base in the country, there are many people who like keeping up with the league. However, with work and other responsibilities, it isn’t possible to sit and watch ever match, every day. But there are ways to work around it. We talked to some cricket enthusiasts to find out how. 

Hotstar mobile app
Dipesh Sharma has downloaded this app and uses it to stream cricket live, even while at work on Sunday. The matches start later on in the day that gives him enough time to finish his tasks for the day, and he says he can afford to be a little distracted, especially on days when Kolkata Knight Rider is playing. He is at his workstation, with the cell phone propped against the laptop, enjoying the match. He has earphones on and listens to the commentary as he tries to do some work. This lasts for about 10 overs played by each team, after which the match really starts picking up and becomes interesting. Then, he says, he gives up on all pretenses of working and can be seen clutching the phone and staring at it in earnest. “Thank god the WiFi connection at work is fast,” he says. 

Live streaming
Once the match begins there are many websites that begin live streaming it. Pranjaya Nepal chooses one of the many website and watches it on his laptop. “It is usually on in another tab, and I listen to the commentary as I do my own thing. When the commentators get excited, I switch tabs and watch the match instead,” he says If he is really busy, he will tell his friends to let him know when 18 overs have finished, and then proceeds to watch just the last two overs. He is a fan of Royal Challengers Bangalore, mostly because of the amazing Virat Kohli.     

Google scores
Anshu Sharma isn’t the biggest fan of the IPL but she likes to keep up with the scores. All her friends constantly talk about the matches so she finds herself googling scores every 30 minutes or so. This enables her to see the number of runs, what over is being played, and check on how many wickets are left. “This is the only commitment I can give to the league. I have projects to work on and assignments to do and am too busy to just sit and watch,” she says. On weekends, however, she goes out with her friends to restaurants where the matches are being shown in big screens and enjoys their company (and good food) while watching cricket.  

Work around it 
Being a freelancer means that Anurag Acharya can work around his schedule to watch the premier league. He religiously watches all Mumbai Indians matches. He supports this team because it was Sachin Tendulkar’s team before he retired. If there is an assignment that he can’t get out of, and can’t shift it to the weekend, or some other day to compensate for it, he sits in front of the TV and watches as he works. “But don’t tell my boss,” he says.  

In between work
A surgeon by profession, Dr Umesh Nepal follows the team Mumbai Indians religiously. “Although it’s not possible to watch the match in its entirety, I keep up with it as much as I can,” he says. He has been known to step out of the operation theater after surgery and dash to where the TV is at hospital, and if that isn’t an option, he has the ESPN Cricinfo app that keeps him updated with all the latest happenings. 

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